NEPTUNE is a multimegawatt electric propulsion system. It uses a proven compact nuclear thermal rocket, NERVA, in a closed cycle with a magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) generator to power a magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster. This thesis defines constraints on an externally sourced propulsion system intended to carry out a manned Martian excursion. It assesses NEPTUNE's ability to conform to these constraints. Because an unmodified NEPTUNE system is too large, the thesis develops modifications to the system which reduce its size. The result is a far less proven, but more useful derivative of the unmodified NEPTUNE system.